Major League Baseball 2K8 or in shorter terms, MLB 2K8, is a MLB licensed baseball simulation video game developed by Kush Games and published by 2K Sports for the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, and Xbox 360. It was released on March 4, 2008. A demo was released on Xbox Live Marketplace the next day on March 5 for Canada, United States and Asian markets.
- 90 playable real-life minor league baseball teams and players (restricted to players who have had major league experience), including 20 authentic minor league stadiums.
- 2K Cards, unlockable trading cards.
- New pitching system in which the pitch type is determined by analog stick movement
- Swing Stick 2.0, a revamped analog batting system which allows an increased variety of batted balls (Baltimore Chops, bloops, dribblers, etc.).
- New ball-throwing system which is also determined by analog stick movement.
- More realistic fielding tweaks, and a revamp of double play animation and gameplay.
The official site also included these additional new and updated features:
- Downloadable minor league stadiums
- Revamped baserunning, with more intuitive controls and smarter baserunning AI
- Additional Signature Style animations
- Downloadable content (Xbox 360)
- The new features are not available on the PS2 version of the game.
- Some Wii version discs have a glitch in franchise mode. After the first year, the season is only 15 games. This only happens to a few discs.
- March 6, 2008: The first round of downloadable content was released on Xbox Live Marketplace for free, which included The Minor League Stadium Pack, which featured Durham Bulls Athletic Park, Hadlock Field and Legends Field (now called "George M. Steinbrenner Field"), a Majestic Cool Base Uniforms pack, which added one new uniform for each Major League team, and the Card Series 2 download which unlocked the next set of packs for use in the game's card battle mode.
Barry Bonds is once again not placed in the game due to his not being a part of the MLBPA licensing agreement, and once again is represented by left-fielder Joe Young. By this time, some people have thought that Randy Carter is representing Roger Clemens on the free agents list.
The game is also notably missing some regular every day MLB players like Kevin Millar and Brendan Donnelly. This is due to the players' involvement in crossing picket lines as replacement players during the 1994 work stoppage, which prevents them from becoming members of the MLB Players Association. These players do, however, have aliases within the game. For example, Kevin Millar goes by the name Kyle Morgan as evidenced by their identical profiles including number, height, weight and attributes. Higher profile prospects like Jay Bruce (replaced with James Bale) of the Reds, Evan Longoria (replaced with Eric Lincoln) of the Rays, Colby Rasmus (replaced with Clint Rents) of the Cardinals or Fernando Martínez (replaced with Felipe Marrero) of the Mets are also under aliases in the game until they have major league experience while players like Geovany Soto of the Cubs are in the game. These aliases use the same first initials of the player's first and last names, and mirror the players actual profiles and attributes as well. New rookies from the Japan Leagues, Kosuke Fukudome of the Chicago Cubs and Hiroki Kuroda of the Los Angeles Dodgers do not have their names in the game and are instead replaced with Kazuhito Fortunato and Hideo Kajita. Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Kyle Drabek, is replaced with the name Kirk Darby.
A more "baseball-lite" version of MLB 2K8 was released for the Nintendo DS called Major League Baseball 2K8 Fantasy All-Stars, which extensively utilizes the DS touchscreen, and features fantasy elements such as power ups and fantasy stadiums.
Development and history
MLB 2K8 represents the third seventh generation console baseball game of the 2K Sports Major League Baseball series, and the second lead developed by Ben Brinkman for Kush. In Brinkman's 1UP.com log, he revealed that MLB 2K8 represents the middle act of a planned three year development cycle for 2K's baseball series for next gen systems, with MLB 2K7 being the first stage. According to Brinkman, "At the same time we set out a three year plan for the MLB franchise so that once 2K7 ended we could get right to work on 2K8 and have a set of goals and features to accomplish." From an interview in an IGN article, "MLB 2K7 was the first step in a long process of reinventing the 2K Sports baseball brand and the MLB franchise. 2K7 was year one of that, and a lot of that was just getting back onto stable ground -- getting back with the people who play our game and putting something out there that they're happy with, they have a blast playing and that they can play for an extended period of time. I think we delivered upon that, especially given the short timeline with which we had to create that game."
Critical response to MLB 2K8 has been somewhat mixed. Both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions have been cited as lacking fluidity and thus seem to lag. Critics have been quick to point out that the new Swing Stick is difficult to grasp and time. While the new pitching system has been touted as very realistic, it has also been criticized as being too difficult. The Batter's Eye has also not been functioning properly in many of the copies. IGN scored the Xbox 360 version 7.4, while the PS3 version received a score of 7.2. On the other end, Game Informer gave it an 8.5 on both the Xbox 360 and the PS3, while EGM gave it a B. The reaction to the Wii version has also been somewhat mediocre. While the pitching control has been highly praised, the graphics and overall gameplay have been criticized. The game tends to crash frequently and rained out games that contain at least 5 innings are often not considered to be completed. The Wii version was the only version that does not have Online play and the critics criticized that as well.
The following songs appear in the soundtrack:
|Black Rebel Motorcycle Club||Need Some Air|
|Blitzen Trapper||Wild Mountain Nation|
|The Cars||Moving in Stereo|
|The Cool Kids||88|
|The Cure||Never Enough|
|Dinosaur Jr||Almost Ready|
|The Flaming Lips||The W.A.N.D. (The Will Always Negates Defeat)|
|The Hold Steady||Stuck Between Stations|
|Jay Reatard||My Shadow|
|Kasabian||Reason Is Treason|
|LCD Soundsystem||Watch the Tapes|
|Peter Bjorn and John||The Chills|
|The Presidents of the United States of America||Cleveland Rocks|
|The Revolution Fox Experiment||Hyper Charlie|